Update On Shoplifting Incident At Bealls
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post
A second suspect involved in a March 9 shoplifting incident, which ended with a local man being struck by a vehicle outside Bealls Department Store in the Mari-Mac Shopping Center is now in custody at the Los Alamos Detention Center.
LAPD Cdr. Preston Ballew confirmed Thursday, April 13, that Stephanie Garcia, 31, of Espanola, was picked up Tuesday night in Santa Fe.
The man injured in the incident sustained a broken nose. He told police he ran out the door of the store to attempt to get the license plate number of the vehicle, but because the vehicle backed out of the parking space so quickly, he was unable to get out of the way. He ended up in front of the vehicle and the driver allegedly made no attempt to avoid hitting him.
Det. Joseph Robinson obtained a statewide arrest warrant for Garcia March 16 after tips from the public and assistance from Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Deputies helped uncover her identity.
The first suspect in the case, Ashley Garcia, 23, of Hernandez was arrested and charged with shoplifting, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and duty to give information and render aid in connection with the hit and run incident.
She allegedly told police Stephanie Garcia was with her when she was at the Los Alamos Magistrate Court on the day of the incident and that while they were driving out of town, they picked up a friend, David Montoya to give him a ride. She told police Montoya pulled a gun on them and forced her to drive him to Bealls to shoplift. She allegedly claimed that when they arrived at the store, Montoya saw a large man in a biker jacket, got scared and told the two women to go inside and shoplift.
According to the report, Ashley Garcia said that when she and Stephanie Garcia ran out the door, she got in the driver’s seat and backed out of the parking space, and while she was stopped, the man ran out of the store, jumped onto the windshield and broke it with his elbow.
She allegedly stated Montoya again pointed the gun at her and told her she needed to keep driving. After the incident, Ashley Garcia, Stephanie Garcia and David Montoya allegedly went to a casino.
Stephanie Garcia has been charged with shoplifting, a fourth degree felony and conspiracy to shoplift, also a fourth degree felony. She was released on an $8,000 bond and is slated for a preliminary hearing May 4.